La Belle France
|Resort:||La Belle France|
Step into a land of renowned artists and royal crusaders, hilltop monasteries and valley castles. This tour takes us from France’s dramatic northern shores to chteau-sprinkled countryside, breaking off to see WWII sites, explore centuries-old villages and sample home-grown delicacies.
Day 1 Paris – Honfleur
Our first impressions of France will be formed in Giverny, Normandy, at the home of Claude Monet one of the worlds most celebrated artists. The vivid colours in every room paint a picture of his life, and the gardens outside are brimming with flowers in every shade. Our next stop will be the Arboretum dHarcourt, a historic arboretum set in the grounds of the Chteau dHarcourt. Here, well have plenty of time to meander through the castle, explore the gardens and even enjoy a local produce tasting session. Our home for the next two nights will be the charming port town of Honfleur (which you may recognise as the subject of a fair few Impressionist paintings).
Day 2 Honfleur – Normandy – Honfleur
This morning well visit Honfleurs bustling market and wander past its historic buildings and 17th-century harbour on a walking tour. Then: well track the Route du Cidre to Normandy, pausing to taste the fruits of the regions orchards from cool, crisp ciders to heady, amber-hued calvados making for a delicious end to our day.
Day 3 Honfleur – Normandy Beaches – Arromanches-les-Bains
Today well turn our attention to the windswept shoreline of the Normandy beaches, where well visit the sites of the D-Day landings of 1944. Afterwards, theres the opportunity to pay a poignant visit to the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. And this afternoon? Well take a closer look at the Bayeux Tapestry before moving on to Arromanches-les-Bains.
Day 4 Arromanches-les-Bains- Mont St Michel – Dol-de-Bretagne – Dinan
This morning well drive on to the enchanting Mont Saint-Michel, crossing the tidal causeway to wander the buzzing island village and explore the abbey. Later, on the way to Dinan, well stop off for photos at Dol-de-Bretagne where well see the famous Menhir de Champ-Dolent. Tonight, an included dinner awaits us in a traditional Breton crperie.
Day 5 Dinan
Today is yours to spend however you wish in Dinan. Wander cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses, take a closer look at the Basilique St-Sauveur, visit the old bridge… You certainly won’t be short of things to do!
Day 6 Dinan – Angers – Chinon
Today will find us deep in fairytale territory as we travel towards the Loire Valley. Here, the landscapes skyline is peppered with the turrets of castles. Our first port of call will be Angers, which was once the medieval stronghold of the Plantagenet kings. After spending some time absorbing its history at the castle, well move on to Chinon where well dine together at a local restaurant.
Day 7 Chinon – Chateau de Villandry – Chinon
Next stop: the Chteau de Villandry, which is famous for its impeccably manicured gardens. Taking in so much beauty is thirsty work, so on our way back to Chinon well enjoy a detour at a Bourgueil winery where well visit the vineyard and cellars before sampling a glass or two (along with some delicious local cheeses).
Day 8 Chinon – Chateau de Chenonceau – Maintenon
Todays chteau? Chteau de Chenonceau, where we’ll take some time to stroll through the idyllic gardens and explore the fascinating museum. Afterwards, well make our way to Maintenon where well enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day 9 Maintenon – Chartres – Paris
A visit to the celebrated Chartres Cathedral will make a fitting finale for our tour. Its believed to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France and its a beautiful image to take with us back to Paris, where well say au revoir.